As top of the table Wolves prepare to step into the final third of the Women’s National League Division 1 Midlands season with a visit to Doncaster Rovers Belles on Sunday, captain Anna Price has hailed the players whose influence has been key to putting her team tantalisingly close to promotion.
Victory at Belles would leave Wolves needing just 10 points from their last seven outings to secure a place in the National League’s top-flight. Having collected 39 from their 14 matches to date, Price and her teammates, in a significantly changed line-up from last term, certainly look well set to achieve their aim.
“We’ve been getting closer game-by-game” notes central defender Price, who is the club’s longest serving player with almost 300 appearances under her belt. “To get across the line, we’ve got to hold our nerve,” she adds,” but I’m confident we’ll do that with the mindset we’ve got in the squad this season.
“We’re a more experienced group than last year with the players that were brought in by ‘Macca’ [Dan McNamara] in the close season. Some of them, like Alex Buck, Jamila Palmer and Becky Thomas had played in higher leagues than the one we’re in and they’ve really helped to push us on.
“We’ve also got one or two players who were here last season and had the chance to move to higher league clubs, but they stayed loyal because they know just how ambitious we are. We’ve built good relationships on and off the pitch and as a team we’ve got better and better as the season’s gone on.”
Price has just returned to action after being sidelined by a bout of mumps, the illness forcing her to miss games including the recent Birmingham County Cup semi-final win against Birmingham & West Midlands, the 3-0 victory setting up what could be a thriller of a final against local rivals West Bromwich Albion.
The skipper’s immediate priority, however, is the meeting with a Doncaster Belles team that Wolves trounced 7-2 at Castlecroft in September. “That was a comfortable win,” recalls Price, “but Donny have been getting some good results lately and we have to go there prepared for a battle to get the three points.”